CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Edel Lyons, CEO & Founder at Rag Revolution

Edel Lyons is the CEO & Founder at Rag Revolution, a sustainable fashion platform aiming to empower women by allowing them to rent and wear their favourite brands.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Hi, my name is Edel Lyons. I am the founder and CEO of the fashion startup Rag Revolution, a fashion rental platform. I have over 8 years of experience working for some of Europe’s leading tech, advertising agencies, and publications.

Having worked for brands such as Google, Salesforce, Audi,, Enterprise Ireland, and Daily Mail (DMG media). I always wanted to start my own business and it was my dream to launch my own brand in fashion. 

In addition to this,  I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated at the effects the fashion industry was having on the environment and growing tired of over-consumption so in 2019, I launched Rag Revolution.

I have always loved to experiment with fashion but wanted a more sustainable way of wearing something new for different events and that’s when the Revolution was born. I am currently the CEO of Rag Revolution, in my role I oversee day-to-day operations, product development, managing digital at a high level, and the overall strategic direction of the business. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I usually start my day off between 5/6 am, this is fairly reliant on when my five-month-old baby decides to wake up. My fiancé and I take turns in doing the night/morning feed. After feeding, changing, and settling the baby back to sleep I start my morning routine.

My routine includes getting up, skincare, and meditating, followed by a workout at the gym. My day can be unpredictable –  but I like to start with my to-do list, emails, and then time box the rest of my day. I usually overlook any escalated issues from colleagues and customers, followed by product development briefs and planning the digital strategy for the upcoming weeks. 

I try to take at least a 30-minute break to go for a walk during the day,  but this doesn’t always happen (one of my new year’s resolutions). The second part of the day is usually dedicated to delegating tasks and projects to the team and freelancers. Once all my work is done, I spend the rest of the day with my baby. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes, my current role is fully remote with a little flexibility. As a founder, I am lucky to be able to plan my days and hours, but this can also be challenging as you usually end up working far longer than planned.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life is something I have struggled with in the past. Like most startups, in the beginning, you work every hour possible to get your first 100 customers. A lot of the time this can lead to burnout. In 2021 one of my goals was to work set hours, take breaks, have at least one day off a week, and spend more time with family.

I achieved this by boxing my day, sticking to the times delegated, and allowing myself to take breaks. Since having our baby, I’ve become far more efficient with my time and now prioritize downtime with my baby, fiancé, and family.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

In the past 12 months, I turned off my email notification at weekends and had one phone-free day a week. These have been two habits that have helped me wind down and enjoy time with family and friends.

6) Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I read as much as I can and I always have a podcast playing throughout the day and whilst I am doing tasks around the house. Favorite books include Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike and Barbarians at the Gate by Bryan Burrough. My favorite podcasts include How I Built This by Guy Raz podcast and Irish podcast Stock club.

7) Are there any products, gadgets, or apps that you can’t live without?

My phone is probably the first gadget I couldn’t live without! After that, it would be my skincare products, Trello, Podcast Player app, and the MyFitnessPal app. 

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

I would love to read Melanie Perkins’s (founder of Canva) work-life balance. I truly find Melanie inspiring and fascinating. We have a few things in common and I would love to find out her life hacks, plus how she balances her home life and running a billion-dollar company.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

It took me a long time to understand the importance of getting up early and having a great morning routine. I love to sleep, but I find I am far more productive the earlier I get up. I would highly recommend creating a morning routine to suit your needs and your life.

I would also suggest you switch off work by 8 pm, take breaks, listen to your body, take an extra day off when and if you need to. You are far less productive if you are overworked and reach burnout. My final thought is that business, career, and job are all important, but not as important as living a full and balanced life with your family.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.